Are Doctors Nicer to Normal-Weight Patients?

From the New York Times:

Are doctors nicer to patients who aren’t fat?

A provocative new study suggests that they are — that thin patients are treated with more warmth and empathy than those who are overweight or obese.

For the study, published in the medical journal Obesity, researchers at Johns Hopkins obtained permission to record discussions between 39 primary care doctors and more than 200 patients who had high blood pressure.

For the most part, all of the patients were treated about the same; there were no meaningful differences in the amount of time doctors spent with them or the topics discussed.

But when researchers analyzed transcripts of the visits, there was one striking difference. Doctors seemed just a bit nicer to their normal-weight patients, showing more empathy and warmth in their conversations. Although the study was relatively small, the findings are statistically significant.

Read the full article here.  Many of the reader comments are quite interesting!

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